In her first official act as Governor,
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, on Tuesday signed an
executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity in state employment.
In 2015, Republican Governor Sam
Brownback eliminated such protections. Former Governor Kathleen
Sebelius, a Democrat, was the first governor to sign such an order in
“In my first official act as
Governor, I am reinstating protections to state employees who are
gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender,” Kelly tweeted on Tuesday.
“EO 2019-02 restores rights that were taken away in recent years.”
“Discrimination of any kind has no
place in Kansas. It will not be tolerated,” she added.
According to The
Wichita Eagle, Kelly's order also extends to businesses that
have contracts with the state.
“It's an important message to
businesses and everybody else in Kansas that this is going to be a
place where fairness and equality are valued and promoted,” Tom
Witt, director of Equality Kansas, is quoted as saying.
Democratic Representatives Susan Ruiz
and Brandon Woodard, Kansas' first openly gay lawmakers, have said
that they will introduce an LGBT-inclusive statewide
non-discrimination bill. Kelly has promised to sign such protections
In recent weeks, governors in Ohio,
have signed similar executive orders.